Went to Pasadena to see the Rose Bowl Parade over New Year's. Great burgers out there-not expecting that in the land of healthy living-all with crispy edges. First stop was In 'N Out in Pasadena, 2114 East Foothill Boulevard-oldest location still in operation (circa 1951)-for burgers & fries. Drive through or walk up only-no dining room. Very busy place, food good. I've read that the food can suffer when the place is too busy but it was very good. They have a curious (to me) but sensible way of wrapping a strip of folded white paper around the burger to hold it together. The next place did the same thing to hold the burger together.
Pie 'N Burger, 913 East California Boulevard, since 1963 and unchanged in menu or decor. Great homemade pie and messy but excellent burger. Had custard (a hint of a rice pudding taste), cherry and peanut butter meringue-all excellent with great homemade crust. High praise from me-a baker and a real snob where baked goods are concerned. Pie baker there was trained by the original one and does everything the same. Burger has homemade thousand island, pickle and lettuce on it. We also got to meet Hall of Fame boxer Bobby Chacon while we were waiting.
Gus's Barbecue (since 1946) 808 Fair Oaks Avenue, South Pasadena for lunch after the parade. I had "The Hangover" Red beans & rice, potatoes, Black Forest Ham, Andouille sausage, Applewood smoked bacon, two fried eggs, Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheese with Gumbo Gravy in a huge pile on a plate and I almost finished it save a few grains of rice. Friends had the Pulled Pork Tostada (a salad!)-also very good and, of course, a burger. Had a bite, wish I had one now.
Other places we ate at include Mimi's Cafe in Yorba Linda with a very nice breakfast-lots of on-site great baking there. Breakfast at the Farmer's Market and a rose scented ice cream from Bennett's (since 1963 although the family has been involved in ice cream there since the 40s)-tasted like mild bubble gum. Back in Pasadena had good Chinese food at Fortune Chinese Cuisine, 60 North Raymond. The best orange beef I've ever had-not breaded but tender and crunchy at the same time. All in all a perfect trip.